Central Heat (No AC)

The 12th Annual 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Festival Sunday, August 25, Waterloo Park

The Judges

David Garrido is the executive chef at Jeffrey's and Cipollina, and executive chef and co-owner of O's Campus Cafe. Garrido formerly worked with Stephan Pyles at the Routh Street Cafe in Dallas. His father was a Mexican diplomat and he has traveled extensively in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Europe. Garrido is the co-author (with Robb Walsh) of Nuevo Tex-Mex.

Chef and co-owner of the popular Vespaio restaurant on South Congress, Alan Lazarus has long been considered one of Austin's top toques. His previous Austin restaurants include Basil's and Tortugas. Lazarus also spent several years serving as the executive chef for Whole Foods.

Chef and owner of Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe in Fredericksburg and former dessert chef for Tony's restaurant in Houston and head baker of Bread Alone Bakery in Austin, Rebecca Rather, aka "the Pastry Queen," is considered by many to be one of the state's top bakers.

Currently the chef at the Hart & Hind fitness ranch on the Rio Frio, Paula Disbrowe has written about food for Food & Wine, Fortune, and The New York Times, and is the former food editor of Restaurant Business magazine. She has also cooked at a chateau in the South of France and a farmhouse bed & breakfast in Tuscany.

Grady Spears was named one of the Top Five New Chefs of 1998 by Restaurants and Institutions Magazine. Spears, who once worked as a cowhand and cattle broker, is the co-author of A Cowboy in the Kitchen (with Robb Walsh). His new restaurant in Fort Worth will open this fall.

Currently the restaurant critic of the Houston Press, Robb Walsh was formerly food editor of The Austin Chronicle and editor-in-chief of Chile Pepper magazine. A two-time James Beard Award winner, Robb is also the author of Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook. He is founder and head judge of the Hot Sauce Festival.

The Preliminary Judges

Preliminary judges open, sort, and screen every single bottle of hot sauce entered in the contest. Then they pass the best-qualified entries on to the finals. As you might imagine, this task sometimes involves the unpleasant experience of being the first to eat a salsa which is too hot for human consumption. For their selfless sacrifice, we wish to thank these preliminary judges in advance:

Carlos Contreras

Henry Alvarado

Fred Alvarado

Dave Walsh

Robert Bryce

Joe Nick Patoski

Lucy Saunders

Lisa Gray

Tim Carman

John Burnet

Bud Kennedy

June Naylor Rodriguez

Pam Blanton

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle